In a widely shocking display unlike any that Microsoft has done before, they recently announced that the core of .Net will now be open source!
*Pause for raucous applause*
After years of working with .Net and loving it, I am looking forward to the move to open source. I feel that .Net has an incredible and rich development stack (aside from the presentation layer, I still love HTML/CSS there…) and it will only improve by allowing the massive .Net community to tinker, improve and evolve it.
The move was partially due to having to deal with a lot of issues between their platform and Mono, and partially to allow for development across all platforms. This isn’t Mono’s fault, of course, but when both teams are working to provide a great framework without collaboration, there is bound to be a few issues here and there. In fact, Microsoft reports that they are beginning a collaborative effort with the team at Mono to ensure that the core becomes cross platform.
What interests me in all of this, is just how much this will mean for Windows 10. Windows 10 is to become their next iteration of the pervasive OS that will ship for PC’s, phones, tablets, X-Boxes and apparently, embedded platforms. What better way to support embedded platforms than to make the foundation of your application stack open source!
Along the lines of cross platform and embedded devices, I just have to paraphrase a few of the comments that I have seen surrounding this news…does this mark the beginning of the end of Java? Will we see more and more applications built on a wide array of platforms and devices utilizing .NET? I can only hope, as from what I have seen, C# and .Net are easier to work with, build better user experiences and are built with quite a few newer technologies, practices and patterns in mind.
Furthermore, what will this mean for the web? ASP.NET has already been open sourced alongside the Entity Framework. How will this affect Python, PHP, Coldfusion or even Perl? Companies will soon have the capability to host their old .NET programs on affordable linux servers, where they can be served by ASP.NET over the web with a fresh new look. Who knows, maybe we’ll even see someone calling .NET application code from Python on a linux box. The possibilities are nearly endless! I already love Python, and to be able to use .NET for its strengths alongside Python and it strengths seems like a pretty amazing idea to me!
All in all, I am incredibly excited for this news. While the current core repo on Github is small and doesn’t contain all of .NET’s goodness, do not be alarmed! They are planning on continually moving their code over to the repo. This is the just another amazing step toward a wonderful, more open, more intriguing technological world.
P.S. Visual Studio is now free and fully featured. Huzzah!!!